Recently I’ve become significantly more interested in sharing insights related to bioterror and the technological developments in genome editing and “virus building”.
I’ve decided to make this an ongoing series and incorporate a listing of the articles here as it progresses.
I already have over 20 articles planned for this series and hope it will provide some thought-provoking material for those of you interested in biotech and evolutionary threats.
It’s a relatively disguised topic–somewhat of an interesting niche that I have seen not many fill (or at least not adequately).
And yet, it’s huge. The threat of bioterrorism has been increasing exponentially in recent years as a direct result of new technological advancements and the rising availability of tools and knowledge necessary to conduct it.
Anyone with a working knowledge of genome editing and virus/bacteria functions could find a method to modify a pathogen to become incredibly more dangerous.
Even the CDC considers this a large and important threat. Still, not much is being done to prepare or calculate risks in regard to bioattacks.
I see it as something that would-be terrorists would use as a much more efficient means of achieving their goals in the long-run. Especially over the typical physical or chemical attacks as the tech continues to evolve.
For this reason, getting a discussion started on it is very important. Explaining some of the methods, reasons, and consequences will help stir up some more serious conversations on the topic.
Why Is It A Threat?
Because of the sheer volume of people that bioterrorism can reach. It is far greater than physical or chemical attacks. The range is practically worldwide for certain pathogens, or at least the risk is.
Consider agricultural bioterrorism: attacking a notable country’s food manufacturing capabilities. This action would be a quick way to cause catastrophe on the world stage if it spreads borders.
Even without human intervention, we’ve seen bioterror in action. The Spanish Flu had decimated an entire population. The plague wiped out double digits percentages in the old world.
These pathogens are constantly evolving in nature, and with us acting like God we’ve created systems that can modify and evolve them to be eviscerated, or be strengthened.
And it’s not an unrealistic threat, either. There have been many plague researchers that have accidentally infected themselves and died. There is evidence of terrorist organizations trying to find ways to modify viruses to be used as weapons against their enemies. Even Genghis Khan hurled infected animals over the border walls of his enemies to infect them and wear them down prior to an invasion.
The tactic of biological warfare has been ever-present in our species, but never has it been in the hands of anyone that wants to use it. Before, you needed large amounts of capital and teams of researchers to even uncover a virus. Now, all you need is about $250 and some knowledge gained from watching videos online to get started with genome editing. Additionally, major states are likely to use it in the case of international conflict, just like Khan did in the past.
This means bioterror has become a realistic, worldwide threat.
And arguably the biggest terror threat that is never talked about.
Which is where this series comes into play.
Over the next few months, I’m going to focus a lot of time and effort into delving deep into these topics.
All articles will be posted below, and if you have any further recommendations or research ideas, I would love to hear about them. Drop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can dig up to add.
Find all articles: Everything Bioterrorism